Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Christmas preparations

I am slowly getting out Christmas things. I think I must have expressed this feeling last year too but now with just Tetsu and me in the home it doesn't seem as much fun to decorate and get ready for Christmas. But I have lots of Christmas stuff (mostly sent from my mother over the years) so to justify all the storage space the Christmas boxes occupy during the year I really should open them up. Besides, the English children are happy to see the house with a Christmas spirit. Most Japanese don't go to the extent of celebrating Christmas as we do.

Anyway, yesterday when a couple of the kids came early I asked them to carry down a couple of boxes from upstairs ("Oooh! Exploring Tanya's upstairs! I want to go too!") and then I let them hang plastic wreaths, put up the mini creche and put together the artificial tree. The tree is still sitting on the table naked but maybe I can get today's English kids to decorate it for me.

So, here are a couple of my Christmas decorations.

Do you know what tenugui are? They are long, cotton, gauze-like hand towels that have a variety of uses (dishcloth, sweatband, washcloth) but probably since they are usually colorful and have a Japanese pattern on them they are most popular as souvenirs. A little too loose a weave for patchwork unfortunately. This is a tenugui I found one year that I thought was interesting because it didn't have a Japanese pattern. Santa Claus! It looks like it's been made like batik or silk screen but it wasn't very expensive.

And here is my lovely Advent Wreath that I asked an artist friend Mr. Shiozaki, to make for me last year. He makes many lovely wooden pieces and also musical instruments, so I put in an order from him the year before last and this is the second year I've been able to use my wreath. I'm expecting that Mr. Shiozaki is someday going to be very famous and then I'll own one of his originals from his younger days! I really should go into the forest and get some greenery to place around it but this morning it looks like this. All through this season I have the kids light one candle each week (each class) and we sing an advent song and I tell them a brief story of Christmas. Do you know I've had some kids ask me if Christians celebrate Christmas! It makes me realize how much I assume modern Japan knows the gospel when it really doesn't.

"Light the Advent Candle One. Now the waiting has begun.
We have started on our way, time to think of Christmas day."


meggie said...

I think sometimes even so called Christians forget the original meaning of things!

We used to have the craze here for bottles of water in the garden & on the lawns. It supposedly prevented dogs from soiling on your lawns or garden. It did not work here either!

anne bebbington said...

I love it that you include the children in your lessons to help you with the decorating - without having your own two at home they will provide that added 'childlike' enthusiasm for the preparations :o) Love the Santa towel thing and your advent ring is gorgeous

Shelina said...

I thinnk it is great that you include the children in the decorating aspects. It shows them much more than if they saw the decorations already put up. I think they are a great reason for decorating your house up for Christmas.